Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fatehpur Sikri....

Fatehpur Sikri was built by Akbar the Great, called so for his wisdom and open-mindedness.  It's incredibly beautiful, and well-worth a search on Google.  Unfortunately, it was not inhabited long, since there were problems with its water supply, and it soon became a ghost town.

I loved this little girl, who was happily scampering along under the watchful eye of her brother.

Daily Haiku
 Footsteps from the past
Blend with those of the present

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

On the road to Agra

On the way from Jaipur to Agra.  Indian roads are not for the faint of heart.  Vehicles swerve crazily to avoid each other, there seem to be no rules of the road, and it's who's the most daring who wins. On the other hand, if you can sit back and relax, you'll enjoy the scenery and especially the modes of transport.  And when something's got four wheels (or even two, for that matter), and you've got to move merchandise, there's no limit to what you can pack on!
Our driver stopped for gas and instantly we were surrounded by trinket sellers. I bought two of these necklaces....not at all expensive.

I thought these tomatoes were strung along the back of this truck to bring good luck. Not's just to show that the truck is carrying....tomatoes.

Daily Haiku

Hurry, quickly, rush
Madly down roads of our lives
And to arrive where?

Hurry, quickly, rush
Madly down roads of our lives
And to arrive where?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Monkeys, people, elephants....

 Sights of Jaipur. Above is a photo taken on the way back down from the Monkey Temple, the same one I visited in March of this year.  No monkeys in the photo, but lots at the temple, including an amazing number of baby monkeys.
 Schoolboys wave from a window in a school near the City Palace. Sort of looks like they're in jail, and I guess that's what all schoolkids think sometimes.
A sweet young girl proudly shows off her baby brother at the Elephant Village outside Jaipur.  This is a government-run facility.

Daily Haiku

Creatures great and small
All have their place in this world
Lest we not forget

Monday, October 28, 2013

When you don't visit the Amber Fort...

I've been to the Amber Fort in Jaipur twice, so I sat it out this time. Actually, I walked for a while, snapping away.  When the heat got to me, I sat inside the lower complex of the fort and was entertained by these three charming young men, who were offering their services as guides. I learned a few words of Hindi, wrote down English and French phrases for the one on the left, and the fellow in the middle invited me to his wedding....when his parents find a suitable bride for him.

Daily Haiku
Encounters by chance
While sitting doing nothing
Are often the best

Sunday, October 27, 2013

On the way to Jaipur....

It's 18 hours by train from Varanasi to Jaipur, but for my traveling partner and me the time passed quickly.  Before we went to sleep and when we awoke we had the pleasure of the company of this delightful family.

I've promised them a photo!

Daily Haiku
All over the world
More alike than different
Sharing common bond

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Just passing through....

While stopped at a small train station on the way from Varanasi to Jaipur, this happy group came out to wave and smile.  The warmth and friendliness of the Indian people is so reassuring.

Daily Haiku
Faces of passing strangers
Smiling and sincere
Wishing to meet you

Friday, October 25, 2013

SKYWATCH---In Varanasi.....

 About to catch a boat like the ones here for an evening ride along the west bank of the Ganges in Varanasi, India's holiest of cities.
Looking east across the Ganges during a sunrise boat ride to watch India's holiest city awaken....

See other skies on SKYWATCH FRIDAY.

Daily Haiku
 The sacred Ganges
Holiest of all rivers
Flows on forever

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Must be hard....

Snapped a photo of this lady in Dubai airport, waiting to board for Lucknow, India.  It must be awfully hard to maneuver a camera when your face is covered, even partially.

Thia handsome young man was showing off his hunting falcon in one of Dubai's ultra-modern shopping malls.

Two women enjoying a coffee at the same mall as above, while the man behind them is texting.  That's a two-story waterfall behind him.

Daily Haiku
All over the world
People want the same from life
Why not get along?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

ABC WEDNESDAY--"O" is for "Offers, anyone?"

Any readers out there have a cool 11 million euros....or is it dollars....?  I guess if you've got that kind of cash, it doesn't matter.  Call one of the numbers on the lower photo and make an offer for the buildings belonging to the former Embassy of the United States of America, which was located on Belgrade's main thoroughfare, Kneza Milosa.  The Embassy moved a few months ago to a new location, which you can see a bit of on this link, the reason being that our embassies have to be a certain distance from the street.

It saddens me to see the upper photo.  For years after I came here, the Embassy was quite approachable.  Then came the sealed-up windows, the cement block barricades, a real guard booth, and even the closing of an adjacent street.  Residents of that street could enter, but you just couldn't drive down it.  The Embassy took on the appearance of a prison.

See other O's on Mrs.Nesbitt's ABC WEDNESDAY.

Daily Haiku 
Once upon a time
Welcoming not foreboding
Before and after

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A tiny interlude.....

Oh, caught without a photo.....  I am currently in India and hope to be posting from here by Thursday!  I'd preposted some photos, including tomorrow's ABC Wednesday, but somehow skipped today's.

Daily Haiku

No photo today
Due to my forgetfulness
Only this haiku

Saturday, October 19, 2013

WEEKEND REFLECTION--waiter descending

Still sipping my coffee with my friend at Hotel Moskva.  I am incorrigible with camera in hand. This is a reflection of the window through which I shot last Monday's photo, and it shows a waiter descending the spiral staircase to the cafe's upper level.

See other reflections on James' WEEKEND REFLECTION.

Daily Haiku
In the netherworld
Of shadows and deception 
How can we find truth?

Friday, October 18, 2013

SKYWATCH--symmetry at night

I showed you this building on September 30th, and now you see it at night, with a little dose of my Peeping Tom inclination.

See other skies on SKYWATCH.

Daily Haiku
Not want to be seen?
Discourage those Peeping Toms 
And pull the curtains 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Neither rain nor sleet nor dark of night....

'Neither rain nor sleet nor dark of night' is the U.S. Postal creed. Not sure if the 'rain or sleet' would deter these avid chess players from finishing a match, but the dark doesn't seem to bother them.

Daily Haiku
Silently they sit
Contemplating their next move
Hoping for checkmate 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

ABC WEDNESDAY--"N" is for "Nose"

While I was walking near the Turkish Embassy with my former student from Turkey a week or so ago, this dog poked its nose through the gate....

See other N's on Mrs. Nesbitt's ABC WEDNESDAY.

Daily Haiku
Behind iron gate
Locked in with familiar scents
Sniffing desperately

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

When you gotta go....

Not an advertisement (wouldn't be a very good one) for Aperol, but an unfortunate juxtaposition.

Daily Haiku

Wise Confucius say:
He who consumes drink
Knows where bathroom is 

Monday, October 14, 2013

From across the street at 1000mm...

Across the busy street from Hotel Moskva, where I was having a birthday (hers, not mine) coffee with a friend, lies McDonald' of the (I believe) 5 or so here.  Using my little Nikon P510 at its maximum zoom of an equivalent of 1000 I took this photo. I kind of like how it turned out.  Not bad for 'in the dark'.

Daily Haiku
Lurking across the street
Sitting with camera poised
Clicking unnoticed

Sunday, October 13, 2013

SUNDAY BRIDGES--again and again

Probably like many cities, Belgrade's bridges are numbered and to contribute to a meme like Louis La Vache's SUNDAY BRIDGES takes a bit of imagination.  Belgrade's most visible bridge is the Bridge Over Ada, which looms here, appearing quite close to the lamp post in Kalemegdan Park, but it isn't.

I should do a series like Bob Crowe's Arch Series!

Daily Haiku
Do not trust your eyes
For their will often deceive
Hearts often do, too 

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Take-out coffee and sodas I've heard of, but not take-out wine.  This shop, which has an excellent assortment of wines, various hams, cheeses, and sausages, also offers take-out glasses of wine. It's served  in a paper cup....albeit with a stem!  Didn't have any, but Alexandar, the young man who works there, was all too happy to oblige me with a photo.

See other reflections on James' WEEKEND REFLECTION.

Daily Haiku

Have you ever heard
There's nothing new under the sun?
Try some take-out wine!  

Friday, October 11, 2013

SKYWATCH--just another sunset

Not much to say about this one....just another sunset seen from Kalemegdan.  The twin-towered building stands right along the highway that leads west to the airport.

See other skies on SKYWATCH FRIDAY.

Daily Haiku
A hushed silence falls
Along with the setting sun
Burning red and orange

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Meet the Gourds

"Meet the Fockers", "Meet the Flintstones", and now it's time to "Meet the Gourds"!

Daily Haiku
Gourds dried and hollow
Old, fragile, but can still be
Pleasing to the eye


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

ABC WEDNESDAY "M" is for "Moving on"

Meet Mr. Djordje Stefanovic, whose little bookbinder's shop appears on the left of the bottom photo.  The shop has been in his family for over sixty years, but now, sadly, there's no one in his family who's interested in carrying on the trade.  I've come to him several times to have books rebound, the last of which was my son's favorite (and now little Mila's; I've ordered one for my grandson, Luka), Dr. Seuss's Old Hat, New Hat, which was showing the signs of much love from my son.

Djordje's going to retire after the first of the year....  I wish him well, and now don't know where I'll go....

See other M's on Mrs. Nesbitt's ABC WEDNESDAY.

Daily Haiku
   We turn life's pages
Like those in the books we love
Until we reach the end

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

High Street

 Not a scene from London's High Street, to be sure. This scene, an unintentional still life, caught my eye while strolling in the adjacent community of Zemun.

Daily Haiku
We don't often see
Until all of a sudden
We open our eyes


Monday, October 7, 2013

After so many years....

This past weekend I had the honor and great pleasure of the company of a former student of mine.....from 30 years ago!!  Arzu, from Turkey, was in grade seven at the International School of Belgrade when I taught English as a Second Language. She knew not one single word, but made excellent progress throughout the school year. Sadly, she left Belgrade, along with her brother Cem, at the end of that year.  We wrote for a while, then as often happens, especially in the pre-Internet/email era, we lost contact.  Thanks to Facebook, I found her again a short while ago. I was so happy when she wrote to say she was coming to Belgrade, "just to see me".  And we had a great time.  We were teacher-student, now we are friend-friend.

 Arzu, I know you're reading this, and I will, will get to Istanbul in the not-so-far-off future, and that's a promise.

Daily Haiku

Thirty years gone by
Time stands still for no one
We will meet again

Sunday, October 6, 2013

SUNDAY BRIDGES--that bridge again

A gloomy and grainy photo of the Bridge On Ada, with the tower from the Old Belgrade Fairgrounds (later turned into a concentration camp during WWII) in the foreground.

Weather's a bit clearer now, but last week it looked just like this at times.

See other bridges on Louis La Vache's SUNDAY BRIDGES.

Daily Haiku

Mists of times gone by
Blend with shadows of the new
Nothing ever changes

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Weekend Reflection--How many....?

Me reflected in some sort of fancy pot in the window of the Zepter Museum in downtown Belgrade. And there are a lot of other reflections, too.  How many?  I was lazy to count....

See other reflections at James' WEEKEND REFLECTION.

Daily Haiku

What we think we see
Can sometimes be reflections
Of a deeper truth   

Friday, October 4, 2013

SKYWATCH--sunset in Trebinje

My son has been working for a while in Bosnia, commuting back and forth.  That of course isn't fun, but seeing sights such as this make it worthwhile, at least a little.  Trebinje (TRAY-bean-yeh) is a town in Bosnia-Herzegovina that lies about 11 kilometers from the Adriatic Sea, and is quite a tourist spot.

Read more about it here.

See more beautiful skies on SKYWATCH.
Daily Haiku
We take for granted
That the sun rises and sets
But if it did not?   

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Classic beauties

Some people would be afraid to drive such classic beauties on busy city streets, but these two cars sat unharmed in downtown Belgrade.  I'm not a car person, but they were so 'cherry', as we used to say in the sixties....

By the way, the shop visible behind the car in the top photo is the pastry shop where these little delights come from.
Daily Haiku
Sit behind the wheel
For a moment feel the thrill
Of classic beauty 


 We have had three days of heavy rains....Belgrade monsoon. Hot, humid. This is a view from my new apartment where I am now living. Unpackin...